Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Heading South- Southern Oregon & Northern California

Odometer 53677 miles
Trip Meter 165 miles

We decided to take the coastal route, at least for the first couple hundred miles.  We were all ready.  Really!  Stayed overnight in the coach in the driveway, car hooked up, wake up and hit the road.  Not so fast!  Now all of a sudden the turn signals on the car are not responding to inputs from the bus.  Grrr!  It's a brand new cable- we tried it out and it worked great yesterday- now what??  An hour of testing this and that, a phone call to my good friend and fixer Mike and they are working again- not really sure what made it happen- but taking my luck where I can get it.

It's been raining all night and it's still raining- off we go.

The Southern Oregon coast is beautiful, especially this section from Port Orford to Brookings.  Rain not withstanding, we are thoroughly enjoying this.  The windshield is like a gigantic HD TV- no even better than that.   We get to watch the scenery slide by.

Once we get to the Oregon border we cross the Smith River bridge and slide into a redwood forest with tall trees flanking both sides of the road for miles and miles.  The sky is getting lighter and there are occasional streaks of sunlight!  By the time we get through Crescent City, the sky is a pale blue- much better!

Stretches of Highway 101 from Crescent City to Arcata are under construction and there are many places where the traffic is down to one lane metered first north then south by traffic lights.  The road bed clings to the hillside (cliff side) high above the surf breaking on rocks below- until it doesn't.
When the road slides out it's Caltrans's job to pin it back in place.

We arrived in Blue Lake at my sister's house at around one in the afternoon and, as usual, we set up in the street below her house (it's not a busy street)
Phebe had lunch ready and we had a very good time eating and talking well into the night.  Sometime in the late afternoon the rain we left in Port Orford caught up to us again and it rained most of the afternoon and night.
We woke up Sunday to a light over cast and the sun was shining before we were hitched up and ready to leave.  After a delicious breakfast in Phebe's kitchen, we fussed with the electrical cable to the toad car, and finally got all the light working.
After too short a visit, we said our good byes and headed east on Cal 299 east towards Redding and the I-5 corridor.
California 299 climbs almost immediately, going from sea level to the top of 2,263 foot high, Lord Ellis Pass.  The scenery is just incredible, especially now with the bright golden madrones, alders and birches augmenting the dark green firs, redwoods, and pines.
did I mention that the skies were cloudless and the sun was warm, streaming through the windows of our motorhome?  We no sooner descend Lord Ellis than we start to climb Berry Summit at 2,803 feet.  Welcome to the Coast Range.

Entering Willow Creek, CA on Hwy 299
We descended the pass, down into the small town of Willow Creek, CA, elevation 610 feet.  We have explored here before, and as much as we would enjoy doing so again, we are heading over the Sierras and into Nevada before turning south, and winter is already late for these parts.  We decide not to press our luck any farther.

Trinity River
Just out of Willow Creek, we pick up the Trinity River and follow this ribbon of tumbling ice blue water all the way to Weaverville.   The scenery proves too much and we just have to stop to take photos and check out the flora along the banks of the river.

Climbing still we chug to the top of the 2,888 foot high Oregon Mountain Summit and descend into the small town of Weaverville

Weaverville, CA
Weaverville was founded in 1850 during the California gold rush, and has had to re-invent itself several times to survive.  After the gold bust,  Weaverville became a logging community,  and now with the decline of the wood products industry, it has become a tourist destination.  The downtown has been re-vitalized with motels, coffee houses, restaurants, sports outfitters, and boutique stores.  Whatever they are doing, it's working- this is an amazing little town to visit.  We came and played while on our 'Rivers Trip' in 2005 when we took our then motorhome a 1995 Safari Trek, down the Klamath River, up the Trinity River and down the Mad and Eel rivers, and back up the Smith River.

Between Weaverville and Redding we climbed the Buckhorn Summit at 3,213 feet of elevation and descended down into the big city of Redding.  We hustled east through Redding, crossing over Interstate 5, and joined Cal 44 still heading east towards Lassen Volcanic National Park and the town of Susanville.

These first passes and summits were just warming us up for this afternoons introduction to the likes of Eskimo Hill Summit at nearly 6,000 feet.  We are very lucky that the weather has been warm and the snow has held off,
or we would not be taking this route.   

In 2012 we were in this same area on our way south from Medford, and we stayed in the Hat Creek RV park just up the road.  Today though we are still fresh and we have decided to continue on into Susanville for the night.

Susanville is down around 4,200 feet of elevation and Weather. com says that the overnight temps are well above freezing.  When we arrive at the Susanville RV Park the temperature is a pleasant 67 degrees and the sun is shining.  We have stayed at this park a few times in the past and it has always been a pleasant experience.  The sites are generous sized, level concrete drives with grass in between each one.  The utilities are clean and modern, and the laundry is large, clean, and inviting.  We set up the motorhome for the night and are eager to take a long walk and explore a little of downtown.

Good wifi and almost nobody in the park, we decide to stream some video, and after TV and popcorn, we tuck ourselves off to bed.

Your Traveling Friends

Joan and Jeff

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